Sunday, January 15, 2017

Actual Play Report - Dragon Age

I had a good time today. I ended up running a Dragon Age game for my son's 20th birthday with two of his friends. Daegan has a pretty good knowledge of DA, his friend Basil had played DA:O and DA:I a while ago so he was rusty and Saiden has no knowledge what so ever.

Because it's Dragon Age, I got to have fun putting it somewhere. I decided that I had put it 30 years after the Inquisition in Fereldan. Alistair had two children who were of age, and decided that he was going to give the throne to his younger daughter, because she viewed it more as a responsibility than a right. He was also having the nightmares so he was going to voluntarily leave the throne.

With that little bit of information, they made their character.

We had Marden Macoda a Fereldan Freeman, who was looking to get money to buy back his land from the Arl of West Hills. There was Oerik Gundaar, a surface dwarf who wanted to explore based on the stories he had heard. He wanted to travel to all the important places that those who defeated the last blight had visited. He also wanted to display the value of surface dwarves and help raise them up in the caste system. They joined forces because they would end up helping each other. Finally there was Alistair with no last name. He was a city elf from the alienage in West Hills whose family had been wrongfully accused of a crime and were executed for it. Alistair (named after the King) wanted to advance elven freedom regardless of the cost. He had signed on as their servant, because it would give him access to various places he normally wouldn't appear and he would have an excuse.

Game started, and they ended up in Redcliffe looking for adventure. Tried to show that it was a bit better than it had been before. There's no alienage (like in DA:I) and things were fairly integrated. It wasn't as if all people treated all elves fairly, but it was better than most. I gave Alistair an option to mess around with a rich merchant who had berated an elf for dropping a package, but he just helped her pick up the packages and deliver them to the house. The whole kitchen staff would have covered anything up, but he just tipped his hat and then met them in the tavern.

They had heard that the Arl was taking petitions with the Future Queen (Elizabeth Theirin) who was visiting. They split up and one of them decided to wait in line, while the others listened to what was happening in the tavern to see if there were any jobs available. Oerik was in line, and he decided to pass the time by telling a story about a great monster hunter named Martin (he kept getting Marden's name wrong, it was a great thing that came up a few times and every time it was a different name) who had just come to town. While Marden and Alistair heard about a pack of giant spiders who kept coming back year after year and they needed to get someone to clean out the nest.

I figured that was "Dragon Age'y enough for a "let's figure this out" kind of game.

Anyway, they went in and fought the spiders (who have a minor challenge rating but ... yeah ... no. Armor is a pain if you're not swinging a big sword) and they discovered that the reason they kept coming back was that there was a crack further down that led to the deep roads. That was because 3 Genlocks showed up and started fighting the spiders. Eventually only the players were left standing, which is when they discovered the hole in the wall.

They stuck their heads in and Oerik saw something shiny on a statue down the rock slide and across the path to a statue. To help raise money he ended up running down to get it, which is when a Hurlock and two other Genlocks showed up. They managed to get the ring, run away and kill the Hurlock, having the two Genlocks run away in cowardice.

They end up covering the hole as best as possible, and make it back to town. Their efforts led the Captain of the town watch, Captain Carvella, to provide them with an introduction to the Arl. It allowed them to skip the line and get directly to the Arl. They get brought into a nice room, and wait for a bit and then Arl Connor Guerrin (the boy you can rescue in DA:O, I decide that you did and he managed to take over with a Templar companion, named Maeghan. I had an idea of how that worked but we didn't get into it really) showed up to thank them and pay them for their time.

That's when the Future Queen showed up to complain about being cooped up all day, and about this ridiculous story she heard from the cook about a new monster hunter in the city. That's when Marden mumbled his greeting, Oerik took the opportunity to try to spin a yarn, and Alistair was like 'this is the person I need to attack for elven freedom.'

It was a great moment. Mainly for the potential drama that would ensue.

Anyway, the next day they go to the chantry where the celebration is being held. Oriek is busy wowing the crowd with a story about their battle with the spiders. Marden was talking to the captain about what work they could be doing and for what price. That left the Arl, his Templar companion, and the Future Queen herself. There was a moment when Alistair was tempted to try to assassinate the queen. I would have let him try too, but he decided against it. So I decided to continue with my plot of having a guard run in and tell everyone that they needed to get to the castle because there were people invading.

Marden and Oerik stayed while Alistair followed the Arl and the Future Queen to the castle. They stayed and discovered that the Arl of West Hill was there representing Duncan Thierin as the true King of Fereldan. They had declared Redcliffe to be treasonous and would now be under the sway of West Hill. Marden tried to sneak away and Oerik stood up and tried to lie about how there was a way to Redcliff castle, and he knew of a secret way. I asked Basil if he was going to lead them towards the Deep Roads. It was awesome, but they had found that there was a Tevinter mage there who ended up using blood magic to pull the truth from Oerik who then threw the ring he had found at them so he could try to escape. They ran from some guards, found some horses and fled the city because someone should know abou tit.

Inside the castle, Connor said that he and Maeghan (the Templar) could hold off the mage, and the castle could hold off a siege but they needed to get Elizabeth (the Future Queen) out of the castle. The only person there was Alistair. There was that moment where he was alone with the Queen, in full armor and equipped with her weapons, that he could have tried something. Everyone else was holding his breath but he said he wasn't going to do anything and they all met up to take Elizabeth to Denerim.

So thoughts on the system! Character creation is fun, though it has a "buying phase" part that I could always do without in any game. The mechanics were fun! I think stunts are something that should apply all the time, and there were a few moments when we had to kind of come up with our own stunts, which were fun. They had a great time, which is always the goal.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Character Generation Library - Dragon Age

My son is having his 20th birthday, and usually I say that I'm going to run a game for him for his birthday. Well, his friends are notoriously difficult to schedule, so I'm going to run a game for just him this year and after much deliberation it's going to be Dragon Age.

I'm looking forward to it, because I bought the Dragon Age book because I'm a huge fan of the series (number 2 for life) and I got to play around with it a bit but never really got the time to sit down and play that. So I'm going to make a character to refresh my memory on how to do that, and it might just give me a few ideas on what I'm going to run for his birthday.

So let's make a Dragon Age character.

There are a wide variety of options for making a character, but there's a random rolling stat version which I'm going to use because the most kind of random one and it will make me adapt to what ends up on my dice rather than having to think too hard about it. You roll 3d6 and depending on what you get you can get values from -1 to 3.

There are 8 stats Communication (I got a 1), Constitution (also a 1), Cunning (a 1), Dexterity (a 1), Magic (a 3 ... shit, I'm gonna have to be a mage now don't I?), Perception (a 2), Strength (a 0), and Willpower (a 2).

Yup. That's gonna be a mage right there. Doesn't have to be, but with that high a magic score someone at sometime was going with magic with my background. The big question is what kind of mage. I could go with either an Apostate or a Circle Mage. I decided to go with Circle Mage because I wanted to be an Elf and didn't need the extra angst of also being an Apostate and you don't do Elves in Tevinter.

When you get your background you get some set benefits. The first one is my magic goes up by one so it's now a 4, which is pretty damned impressive. Then I get to pick an ability focus, so I took Cunning (Historical Lore). I get to pick human or elf, which I did, and I get a bunch of various languages so I grabbed the Trade Tongue, Elven, and Ancient Tevene. Now you get to roll 2d6 and get those extra bonuses. I got a 6 and a 9 which means I got Perception (Seeing) and Cunning (Cultural Lore).

Now comes the class features. A class sets your primary and secondary abilities, which is important when it comes time to levelling up. I also have my starting health of 20+Constitution+1d6 (20+1+4) for a total of 25 and I get my weapon groups of Brawling and Staves. Beyond that there are the level bonuses. As a mage at level 1 I get Arcane Lance, which is the fun magic ranged weapon you get in the video game. I don't have the focus to get the bonus, but it uses Magic to roll so that's pretty sweet if I have to fight anything. I get Mana points of 10+Magic+1d6 (10+4+2) for 16.

I have Magic Training which means I get to pick some spells. I'm going to take Heal because that only makes sense. Winter's Grasp because I liked the spell when playing the game, and then I'm going with Frost Weapons. He's been focusing on how to use cold magic to make food last longer in Alienages, which is why his focus has been on primal magic. It's a fighty game, because video game, so the spells are all cold related but I like that theme.

Then I choose my starting talent, and I change choose between Chirugy, Linguistics, or Lore. I only have the pre-requisites for Linguistics so I'm going to take that. I can learn an additional language which is going to be Orlesian because why not. I think they're in Ferelden, but Orlesian is basically French so I can have fun with that.

Equipment is next, I get a backpack, travelling clothes, and a waterskin as default.

I also get one weapon and a staff as a mage. The weapon I'm going to take is just the staff, I don't see this character wielding another one. And now I have 58 sp (50+2d6) to spend on stuff. Ugh, I hate shopping. It is the worst thing in the world for me. I don't think this character needs anything, and seriously when I run it I'm more interested in the video game style of buying things. Healing potions and better weapons and armor. Way more difficult in the RPG version than the video game version so I might just do away with the money because this is meant to be a cool story rather than a "how much money you got."

Come up with a name and some distinctive features. Going to go with a Ferelden name and say Garrick, which is in the book. He's an elf, and he's missing his pinky ringer on his right hand because of frost bite.

Next are Goals and Ties. Goals are easy, because it's a solo game, but ties require other people so I'll just make something up.

Goal, to try to find old magical artifacts that can help him create ways to keep food from spoiling. There are plenty of techniques, but something that can really extend the life of a cold cellar or something like that. It was always one of the things that never really got covered in the game, circles are like universities but also in that they were doing research and study. While a lot of it felt esoteric, it's nice to have some kind of study that works towards benefiting people.

Ties, Adrianne. She's the Templar that's assigned to go with Garrick on his quests to find magical artifacts. She's not huge on the magic stuff and mages, but she's sent out with me as punishment for being a little too "harsh" with some of the circles mages.

This character is set around DA:Origins then.

And that character is done. See the sheets below.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Character Generation Library - World Wide Wrestling

Ended up looking at the bottom of my list and saw my folder for all my *World games (yes I know it's pbta but I like my wildcard characters okay) and decided I'd do one of them. That means World Wide Wrestling because very much yes. I'm a huge wrestling fan, not necessarily the biggest wrestling fan in the world but still, it's so much fun.

Anyway, I used to play in this facebook wrestling game. It wasn't much of a game, the whole thing was really luck based and build based and kind of meh. But the beautiful part of the game was all the trash talking and storylines that you would get to do. Like all things, if you had terrible people it was terrible but there were some amazing folks on there that were super fun to play with. I remember one time my character and another character had a set of Shakespearean insults going back and forth. There was another time when I was able to finally win a title because of how the storyline played out. It was just so much fun.

That's the character I want to make. Billy "Big Brains" Bonanza, the smartest man in The Game. He even had his entrance music which was Atmosphere's Smart Went Crazy because it fit so well.

Anyway, let's see if I can shoe horn my favourite kind of wrestler in there. The super big talker who doesn't necessarily have the flashiest move set. Something along the lines of the Miz, who I used to hate but have grown to love in his smarmy heel role this past year.

Step one is choosing a playbook, and I got a bit stuck. Brought it up on twitter and ended up talking with Nathan about this, and there really isn't a playbook for that. We discussed doing things from the International Incident files about using the Indie Darling, but it still wasn't quite what I was looking for and it feels kind of like "Well, you should be using the main book since that's what you're doing" so I'm going to go with the Golden Boy because it fits the most from the main book. It's all about talking and less about wrestling.

Now you get your starting stats which is Look +1, Power 0, Real -2, Work -1 and then I get to add a +1 to any of those stats. Look is your IT factor, your charisma. Power is your strength and the moves you get to make. Real is how you can blur the lines between kayfabe and reality, and Work is your wrestling ability. I don't want a -1 to Work, so I'm going to give my bonus to Work which makes my stats.

Look +1, Power 0, Real -2 and Work 0.

Next comes Heat which is how intense and how much the crowd gets into the relationship between wrestlers. This is where you'd be making these characters with everyone, so that it's a little bit harder to do in this case. I'll just make up some wrestlers and answer the questions and build up the heat there.

Who did I debut with (and leave behind)?
My former tag team partner Grey Stallion. We were Brains and Brawn but we were quickly split up after the first few months because Stallion really couldn't talk on the mic. He's been jobbing to everyone lately.
Who's taken me under their wing?
Jebb Wilson, the "rival promoter" who is here to invade the company. We're hoping we can convince creative to let us work together and I can be the backstabber who joins the other side.
Who's jealous of my rapid rise?
The current Champion, Jake Rise. He thought I was going to end up with Stallion, and talked smack about me in the locker room. Now that I'm on the rise, he's unhappy with the situation.
Who has taken upon themselves to teach me a lesson in the ring?
Jake Rise, he's said to other people that he's going to show me what "real wrestling" is.

That means I have +1 Heat with Stallion and Wilson, and +2 Heat with Jake Rise.

Now I'm going to pick my two moves. I have my finisher (which is called Dumbfounded which is basically the Blue Thunder Bomb because that looks awesome for something kind of straight forward) and two other moves. I'm going to take Dynasty Scion which is going to up my Look by +1 and then I'm going to take I Am The Future because I know that there's a lot of threats that Billy's gonna make because he's always going to threaten to out smart his opposition.

That's really it. There is more thought to the game, and a whole section on how to play your wrestler but that's for down the line and not something that I'm going to be doing now.

Here's the character sheet:

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